Whether we want to admit it or not, conflict and arguments occur in all relationships. It’s easy to convince yourself that arguments and fights with your partner are signs that your relationship is doomed. What should give you a sense of comfort is that all couples fight. Whether you see it in public or you see the aftermath is another story. Sometimes, people disagree, but it’s how you move past it that determines the course of a relationship.
Throughout this article, we will discuss how often couples should argue if the relationship is healthy. We will also discuss the causes of disagreements and arguments and how to engage in healthy arguments.
Is it okay to argue?
The short answer is yes. It’s common for couples to have disagreements and get into fights. Healthy conflict and verbal disagreements are never fun, but sometimes, they happen and result in a productive resolution. However, it’s never okay for arguments and fights to turn physical.
Some couples argue once a week, others argue once a month, and others will every few months. It’s all dependent on what’s going on in the lives of the couple. If work or home lives are stressful, it’s natural for fighting to happen more frequently. There’s no average number of times couples could or should argue.
There are warning signs you should look out for, though. If you’re having more disagreements than agreements, or you’re having verbal altercations daily, that is considered to be unhealthy.
Causes of disagreements
Something important to note is what some causes of arguments and verbal fights can be. The biggest ones are if you have different beliefs, values, or personalities. Additional causes of conflict include:
Trying to resolve instead of managing differences
It’s okay to have differences. If it’s not a dealbreaker, it’s better to agree to disagree and manage the differences.
One person tries to change the other person.
This will rarely, if ever, work. Depending on the topic, it’s hard to change a person. You need to decide if you can handle the differences or not. You also need to determine how the changes you want your partner to make will impact you.
There’s a large age gap in the relationship.
While there’s nothing wrong with relationship gaps when both parties are of age, it’s important to be cognizant that it can lead to conflict. If you’re in different stages of life, it can lead to conflicting priorities.
How to Engage in Healthy Arguments
It’s important to know how to effectively and safely engage in conflict and arguments with your partner. To maintain a safe and healthy relationship, consider utilizing the tips below.
Share your needs going forward and how you’ll improve.
Apologizing can be very empty if you’re just saying you’re sorry and not actively working on how to improve and what you need in the future. It’s important to clearly communicate how you will change going forward. Communicate what you need without being accusatory or putting all blame on your partner.
Use “I feel” statements.
These can be used to open the door to resolution. Stating how you feel shows you are being honest without being defensive. State how you feel about the conflict by describing what’s upsetting you or did upset you without being judgemental. Try to clearly explain to your partner what you need from them.
Realize that it’s okay to agree to disagree.
There will inevitably be topics that you and your partner disagree on. Sometimes, we get into a mode where we believe the best is to force each other to think the way we do. It’s important to allow each other to have the freedom to be individuals. The key is to be respectful when differences of opinion occur.
Be willing to apologize and be accountable.
It’s sometimes hard to say sorry, but it’s important to apologize without blaming the other person. When making the apology, try saying exactly what you’re apologizing for instead of saying you’re sorry for “your part.” This can lead to bigger issues.
Remember, no relationship is perfect. What matters most is that you and your partner both feel seen and heard.